Challenging stereotyped images of North Korea: opportunities to inform policymakers and the public understanding

Research led by Dr Sojin Lim on North Korea has informed policymakers’ approach to the country in the United Nations, the UK, the USA, and South Korea.

The work has helped to inform policy debate through roundtable discussions and high-level briefings of senior government officials, shifting the dialogue away from existing stereotypes of North Korea. Extensive media involvement profiling Lim’s research has raised the level of public debate and understanding about recent changes in North Korea both within the UK and internationally.

Dr Lim’s research was featured and quoted in media interviews and newspapers more than 45 times between April 2018 and October 2020, enabling her to reach a wide global audience. This has informed public understanding, as demonstrated by her BBC Breakfast interview in June 2019. Subsequently, it has successfully challenged stereotyped images about the country and has informed recent changes in international development cooperation. Research by Dr Lim and Professor Hazel Smith has also been significant at an academic level and has been rigorously cited and positively reviewed by leading journals, academic associations, research institutes and policy briefs, confirming the significance of challenging existing perceptions of North Korea. This research has been extensively drawn upon for resources of factual knowledge and an analytical understanding of why change occurs in North Korea.

Research team